United States Senate elections in South Dakota, 2014
November 4, 2014
June 3, 2014
South Dakota has a mixed primary system, in which parties decide who may vote. Registered Democrats and unaffiliated voters may vote in the Democratic primary. Only registered Republicans may vote in the Republican primary.
Note: Prior to the signature filing deadline, candidates will be added when Ballotpedia writers come across declared candidates. If you see a name of a candidate who is missing, please email us and we will add that name. As the election draws closer, more information will be added to this page.
- Bill Napoli: Former state senator
Declined to run
- Brendan Johnson: Current U.S. Attorney for South Dakota
- Stephanie Herseth Sandlin: Former U.S. Representative
- Kristi Noem:Current U.S. Representative
In a news conference at his alma mater, the University of South Dakota, Johnson joked, "I will be 68 years old at the end of this term and it is time for me to say goodbye. As much as [my wife] Barbara would like me to run again, I have to say no,” and went on to say, "I'm honored and humbled that the people of South Dakota, Democrats, Republicans and independents, have allowed me to represent you in the state legislature, the United States House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate."
Johnson was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996 and won re-election in 2002. In 2006, Johnson suffered a brain hemorrhage that almost killed him, but he recovered and went on to run for and win re-election in 2008. When asked if his health was behind his decision not to run again, Johnson answered "I feel great, but I must be honest. I appreciate that my right arm and right leg are not what they used to be and my speech is not entirely there. But I think mostly that it's time to go."
If he had made a bid for another term in the Senate, Johnson was expected to face a tough win for re-election, and was considered vulnerable.
Johnson was the fifth Democratic Senator to announce plans to retire in 2014. Others include Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, and Carl Levin of Michigan. Two Republican senators, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Mike Johanns of Nebraska, are also not making bids next year for another term in office.
Most vulnerable seats
The FiscalTimes compiled a list of the seven most vulnerable Senate seats up for election in 2014. The seven included in the list are: Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia. Going into the 2014 election, all seven seats are held by Democrats.
With former two-term Gov. Mike Rounds (R) likely to run for this seat, incumbent Tim Johnson (D) will have his hands full if he decides to seek another term in 2014. In some ways, Johnson may be vulnerable. After suffering a life-threatening brain hemorrhage in 2006, he may not be up to a competitive campaign. Moreover, South Dakota has been strongly Republican at the presidential level and increasingly so for other federal elections. However, South Dakota has a record of mixing partisan affiliations of its congressional delegation in Washington.
|U.S. Senate, South Dakota General Election, 2010|
|Republican||John Thune Incumbent||100%||227,947|
|U.S. Senate, South Dakota General Election, 2008|
|Democratic||Tim Johnson Incumbent||62.5%||237,889|
- United States House of Representatives elections in South Dakota, 2014
- United States Senate elections, 2014
- BP News: South Dakota Senator announces plan to retire in 2014
- BP News: Discussion begins on possible candidates for Senate seat in South Dakota
- South Dakota Secretary of State Website, "Registration & Voting," accessed January 3,2014
- Washington Post "AP sources: South Dakota Sen. Johnson won’t seek re-election; 5th Democratic senator to retire" Accessed March 28, 2013
- Talking Points Memo "GOP Rep. Kristi Noem Will Not Run For SD Senate Seat" Accessed June 14, 2013
- Roll Call "Weiland Is Democrats' Best Hope in S.D., for Now" Accessed June 14, 2013
- Roll Call "Kristi Noem Not Running for Senate #SDSEN" Accessed June 14, 2013
- NewsCenter1 "2014 Senate Race" Accessed April 29, 2013
- Politico "Kristi Noem opts against Senate run in S.D." Accessed June 14, 2013
- CNN "Fifth Democratic Senator Says No to 2014" accessed March 28, 2013
- Fiscal Times " 7 Senate Seats Most at Risk—Hint: They’re All Blue" accessed February 15, 2013
- KDLT "Sen. Tim Johnson's Plans After Politics" accessed March 28, 2013
- 'U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008"